Friday, December 14, 2007

That's a WRAP (Part 2)

Guest blogger Michael Catt, Senior Pastor of Sherwood Church and the Executive Producer of FIREPROOF, shares his thoughts as the third film from Sherwood Pictures wraps up production.Michael Catt leads the final-day devotion on the set of FIREPROOF. (photo by Hayley Catt)

Today, December 14, is the last of the 30 days of shooting for FIREPROOF. It’s hard to believe we’re wrapping up and packing up. Over the next few days we’ll get back to “normal”—whatever that means these days. We’ve learned the definition of normal is constantly changing. I’ve often said since we started this moviemaking process, “Welcome to the new normal.”

The cooperation between the church, community, city, hospital, and fire department has been incredible. You can sense God working in every aspect. We’ve been blessed. From the action scenes to the romantic scenes, the pieces have fallen into place in a way that could only be explained by God.

Our professional crew has been incredible. We’ve renewed old friendships from FACING THE GIANTS and made new friends. The team has bonded over these days and weeks of seemingly endless shooting.

For me as a pastor, it’s been a joy to be behind the scenes for a change and to see my family on the set. Erin playing a key role in the movie. Hayley taking photographs and doing so much with the crew. Terri being in charge of costumes. As with the entire cast and crew, it’s a blessing to see people excelling in their areas of passion and expertise.

You have to know that this movie is a team effort. It’s the whole church that makes the movie. Without our people and their willingness to serve, none of this would be possible. Without their willingness to buy into the vision of “Changing the world from Albany, Georgia,” we wouldn’t be in the movie business. I’m grateful to pastor a church that will think outside the box.

That's a WRAP (Part 1)

As filming of FIREPROOF wrapped up, we asked Michael Catt, Senior Pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and Executive Producer of the movie, to talk about the production. In Part 1 of the entry, Pastor Catt shares the amazing number of people involved with the film.

More than 1,200 people, families, businesses, and churches served Sherwood Pictures during the filming of FIREPROOF. These numbers are conservative estimates that do not even factor in the 50 or more people that served as cast, crew, costuming, security, extras, etc.

Sunday School Classes That Catered: 20
People In Those Classes: 1005
Individuals Donating Meals: 30
Prayer Warriors: 65 (households)
Babysitters: 44Businesses Donating Snacks: 7
Local Restaurants Donating Meals: 15
Local Churches Donating Meals or Facilities: 4
People Donating Snacks: 30
People Allowing Use of Golf Carts: 4
People Allowing Use of RVs: 3

Local Organizations and People Helping Out:
Gethsemane Worship Center
(Donated house that was burned down)
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
(Donated production office, hospital wing and cafeteria for filming)
Albany Fire Department
(Provided support, training, and use of fire stations and fire trucks for filming)
Musculoskeletal Associates
(Provided doctor’s office for filming)
Town of Shellman
(Use of town for filming)
Georgia SW Railroad
(Provided train and tracks for filming)
City of Albany
(Provided ambulances for filming, and support throughout)
Albany Police Department
(Provided police cars for filming and security)
Railway Freight and Holley House
(Provided furniture for sets)
Sharber and Chambers Families
(Provided houses and property for use as sets)
Bill Butler and Oliver Cromwell
(Provided newly built home for set)
MRS Homecare
(Provided wheelchair

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome Visitors (W6:D4)

In many ways, Sherwood Pictures filmed FACING THE GIANTS in relative anonymity back in 2004. While the team’s prayer was for the film to have theatrical distribution, there was no way of knowing what journey God had in store for the movie … and Sherwood.

FACING THE GIANTS ended up achieving box office success, became a best-selling DVD, and—most importantly—continues making an impact on the lives of people worldwide.

What has that has meant for the filming of FIREPROOF? Awareness and interest is high for the church’s third movie—months before the film opens in theatres.

This time around, the set has included scores of visitors representing some of the leading ministries in the country, as well as interested media members.

On Thursday, the final set visitors experienced the penultimate day of shooting. Mitch Temple, who heads up Focus on the Family’s marriage ministry, was at Albany Fire Station 1 with his wife Rhonda.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed being on the set,” Mitch says. “The spirit of what everybody is doing is apparent—they’re doing it for the right reason. I’m thankful and extremely excited to see this kind of production.”

In addition to his work with Focus, Mitch and Rhonda work directly with couples whose marriages are in crisis. They’ve seen firsthand the healing God can bring to troubled marriages.

“A bad marriage is not like rotten fruit,” Mitch says. “You throw rotten fruit out. But a bad marriage can be turned around. We see it all the time.”

The Temples are looking forward to seeing FIREPROOF in its completed form not only for the entertainment value, but also for the ministry impact.

“We were excited to come here because we’d seen FACING THE GIANTS,” Rhonda says “We know the potential of this film to make an impact on marriages.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Professional Volunteers (W6:D3)

For the past two months, the mainly volunteer cast and crew of FIREPROOF have been working diligently and prayerfully to create a movie that not only is entertaining, but that will make an impact on marriages.

“It’s a wonderful group of people to work with,” says David Nixon, the Orlando-based assistant director on both FIREPROOF and FACING THE GIANTS. “The level of professionalism by the volunteers on the set has gone up exponentially from Giants. It’s like working with a professional crew. They come to the set prepared and know what to do.”

We talked to a few of the Sherwood volunteer-professionals to get their take on FIREPROOF.

“I went to boot camp not knowing where I could help. I prayed that Lord would use me wherever He wanted me and He has. We just joined the church in September so I wanted to get involved to meet people. I’ve made a lot of very close friends. I can’t wait until we start the next movie!”

Mandy Chambers

“We get to serve meals and clean up afterwards. We’re all put here to serve God and serve one another. I’ve enjoyed it so much because of the fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s been wonderful.”
Wayne Holt
“I’ve had the opportunity to do just about everything. I even got to yell ‘Action!’ on my birthday! I love all of the behind-the-scenes stuff: everybody coming together and praying for everybody else, the friendships I have made.”
Pam Johnson

“I’m basically everyone’s momma. I get to love on everyone. My biggest prayer is that marriages that don’t know they’re in trouble will be touched by this movie.”
Diane Morgan

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Train Set (W6:D2)

Thirty-five miles northwest of Albany lies Shellman, Georgia—population 1,084 (according to the 2005 US Census estimate).

On Monday and Tuesday, Shellman was the location for one of the most intense scenes in FIREPROOF … and all of the moviemaking equipment required to make it happen. And that includes a train!

“I think we doubled the population of Shellman,” says David Nixon, assistant director for FIREPROOF. “We had six pages of script to shoot in two days, which is very difficult to do. But the Lord’s hand was on us the whole time.”

One example: as the crew was discussing the difficulties in positioning (and repositioning) a car in the scene, someone mentioned how beneficial a forklift would be. A man who lives near the tracks who was watching the filming said he had a forklift in his garage. Problem solved!

“It just keeps amazing me how the Lord has blessed all of Sherwood’s productions,” he says. “We get to experience miracles every day.”

The train scene is another tense one, much like the fire scenes shot in Week 4. And that was just in the filming of the scenes!

“It was stressful because we had do so many composite shots with so many different camera angles,” David says. “But with the forklift available and the train moving much faster than I thought it would, things turned out. We even had the vice president of the train line driving the train.

While the faith-based storyline drives FIREPROOF, moviegoers will notice some differences between this 2008 release and the first two Sherwood films.

“With this movie, Sherwood has really ramped up the production value,” David says. “We’ve been able to take things to a whole new level. Usually you have a $100-million budget to do what we have been able to do on less than a fraction of that!”